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S.African wealth manager Investec’s annual profit nearly doubles

(Updates with CEO comment)

JOHANNESBURG, May 19 (Reuters) – South African lender and asset manager Investec’s full year profit soared by almost 91% thanks to strong loan growth, client acquisitions and increasing funds under management, it said on Thursday.

The company, which services higher-income clients, reported an adjusted earnings per share – profits made in the course of ordinary operations – of 55.1 pence for the year ended March 31, a tad higher than its estimate.

It announced a final dividend of 14 pence per share, taking its full year dividend to 25 pence per share.

Investec shares, however, were down over 3% at 1135 GMT.

The niche lender, with a listing in the UK as well, has been amongst the top performing banks in South Africa in terms of share price in the last two years.

This has been driven mainly by a focus on acquiring and servicing quality clients, cutting costs and hiving off non-core businesses.

Investec primarily operates in specialist banking, whereby it serves the banking needs of high-value clients, and wealth management in South Africa and the UK. This translates into two main sources of revenue for the company – funds under management and loans.

For the year ended March 31, it posted a 9.2% increase in funds under management to 63.8 billion pounds and a 13.2% increase in core loans to 29.9 billion pounds.

Its revenue grew 21.3% to 2 billion pounds.

Chief Executive Fani Titi told Reuters in an interview that the Russia-Ukraine crisis will be “transient” but it will have far-reaching impacts on global consumption of everything from fuel to food, making inflation a phenomenon for at least a “few years.”

“The environment and the outlook is cloudy but we are confident in the quality of our clients… and the fundamental strength of our business,” he said.

($1 = 0.8066 pounds) (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, Jason Neely and Susan Fenton)

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